Royale the best burger in ocean beach what temp does bacon cook in the oven

Author’s note: editordude has asked me to write some restaurant reviews for the OB rag as our previous food writer, judi curry, has resigned after years of penning detailed and helpful reviews about local restaurants. Thanks for your years of devotion and the provocative and interesting articles you provided, judi! … my column will be entitled, “obites.”

If I told you that royale, the new restaurant on voltaire near catalina, has the best hamburger in the ocean beach area, would you believe me? Should you believe me?

The reason I say “probably not” has to do with the subjective nature of food writing and the ridiculous concept of “best” of anything when it comes to food.

Take pizza for example. If you expect a thin crust-loving new yorker to rave about a new restaurant that serves deep dish chicago-style pizza you will be very disappointed, as well as possibly having your throat ripped out.


I’ve lived with a new york ex-pat for almost 40 years and it’s the truth.Ocean beach we won’t even get started on san diego burritos vs. TexMex vs. San francisco-style “mission burritos”. Everyone has a favorite even though san diego style is OBVIOUSLY best.

Burger preferences are just as controversial. Sometimes the thing that makes a burger or other food “best” in one person’s eyes is the very thing that another person hates. Take a look at yelp reviews of hodad’s for example. One person will be disgusted by the fact that the bun falls apart before you finish the burger while another raves about the juicy goodness that causes it to disintegrate at the end. And if you eat at mcdonalds every day, their burger will probably seem like comfortable home cooking to you even if it’s a nasty corporate travesty.

Moral of the story: don’t believe much of what a food critic or anyone else says about the “best” anything, they bring too many biases along for the ride.

Royale was originally a pop up burger place ( royale with cheese) in the park and rec bar in university heights.Ocean beach it recently simplified its name and took over the space where sessions public house was located, next door to the catalina lounge on voltaire street. The interior has been remodeled into a vividly-colored tribute to american diners. Picture mid-century naugahyde bar stools, formica tables with metal trim, neon accents, diner-style plates and bowls, and condiment caddies containing classic plastic mustard and ketchup squeeze bottles.

I’ve enjoyed several meals at royale. For me the standout dish was the royale with cheese ($11) which the menu describes as “1/3 lb. Beef patty, bacon, gruyere, caramelized onion, special sauce, mustard, pickles, buttermilk bun “. The patty is about 3/4 of an inch thick and hand formed. I had it prepared medium and it arrived moist but not dripping. All ingredients were high quality and fresh. A light handed touch with the secret sauce and mustard allowed each of the burger’s components to shine.

Another winner was the fried chicken sandwich ($11) served on a sesame bun with a tasty jicama-cilantro slaw, slightly spicy “crystal mayo”, and pickles.Don’t believe the breading was crisp and the chicken moist. The fish of the day sandwich ($12), which in this case was gold spot bass, is available fried or grilled. My posse tried both and found each of them flaky and moist, very fresh and cooked perfectly. Dressed with lettuce, tartar sauce, and a rustic vegetable slaw of pickled cauliflower, green beans, and carrots, they were excellent.

A couple of my vegetarian-leaning friends shared the vegan royale ($10), a seitan and roasted broccoli patty that was topped with fried eggplant, sautéed mushrooms, and pickled vegetables on a whole wheat bun. They quite enjoyed it.

Fries or tater tots (yum!) can be added to the meals for $3. Other sides included mixed veggies, available roasted or battered and fried ($6), both quite good. One tablemate said, “I liked the vegetables, it made me think I was eating something healthier than just different forms of cholesterol between bread”. Just cholesterol?!?! Quality meat, cheese, and bacon are not “just” anything, they are a reason to live! (apologies to my vegan friends).Ocean beach

We also tried the house smoked trout salad ($14), a minimalist dish of trout, baby spinach, fingerling potatoes, and red onion with a sweet and lemony dressing.

Royale has a full bar. One of my companions had a vodka house cocktail ($9) made with mint vodka, pomegranate, ginger, and lime soda. She said it was very refreshing and strong. There’s also an assortment of mainly local craft beers on draft ($6.50 to $7.50). I tried some incredible house made lemonade, with the lemons sourced from the owners’ farm in valley center.

Unfortunately, dessert was not available due to problems with the soft serve ice cream machine. Our efficient and friendly server, crystal, told us the ice cream is served with optional cookie crumbles. Sounds great and I look forward to trying it.

For each of our meals we dined early, before 6 PM. When we arrived, the bar was full and the restaurant mostly empty, though almost every table was occupied by the time we finished our meals.Chicago-style pizza at that hour it was a typically chill OB/PL crowd, some families with kids, lots of younger folks, and a sprinkling of old timers. There’s a cool juke box with great music (dylan, gram parsons!) but at our meals the juke box wasn’t in use and the house was playing mellow, low volume music that made for easy conversation.

The restaurant also serves brunch on the weekend. I look forward to giving it a try at some future date, once my cholesterol level goes down.

Royale! Is located at 4204 voltaire st, san diego, CA 92107. Hours are 4 PM to 11 PM on monday to thursday, open until 1 AM on friday and saturday, with brunch served from 10 AM on saturday and sunday. There is ample parking available behind the restaurant.

Any serious pizza enthusiast knows chicago-style is the best; same with hotdogs. Anyone who disagrees is either a new york partisan (i.E. Yankee fan-BOO) or has never had a chicago-style pizza. Don’t believe me? Try lefty’s in north park.Chicago-style pizza and they are only a little better than so-so as far as chicago-style goes, but, still way-way better than any flimsy greasy new york-style thing they call pizza. Completely agree with the burritos. San diego (or southern california in general) has much better burritos. Even tex-mex (try tommy’s) is better than the garbage they serve up north (i.E. Chipotle). Royale looks like a good place. Seems a little pricey. But, will give it a try, might be worth it.

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